Thursday, October 21, 2010

Why marketing sucks (or rather I am such a sucker for it…)

Note: this was written under the influence of antihistamines and should not be taken seriously. Or should it? I don’t know, I’m still taking them.

I hate marketing. Not so much the adverts and shiny sparkling things that make me buy things that I don’t need and generally shouldn’t be able to find a way to afford (and then leaves me scrabbling around my car for small change by the end of the month so that I can buy petrol). sparkly things are my kryptonite, right up there with blue things, yellow things, things that make a noise with you poke them (this includes people), hats and anything cute (including things so ugly that they are adorable).

No, I HATE special offers.

Exhibit A:

So I stopped on my way out the other night to buy petrol and a bottle of water. I can’t drive without sipping water at every robot along the way, but lately with the warm weather I keep leaving the current bottle in my car and coming back to find it inflated to roughly the shape of a rugby ball and then I start having BPA-induced paranoia. I bet BPAs are more marketing tools to get me to buy more water. anyway, not the story I was planning on telling.

Ahem. Anyway… they have a special promotion where every time you spend over a certain amount (like R15 or something) they give you  sticker. Once you have 40 stickers you get to pay a ridiculous sum of money for a kind of ugly stuffed-toy of a dog. BUT if you get 75 of the stickers they give you one for free.

Despite all my weaknesses, I’m really not into stuffed toys. I have the sheep I got in Ireland, Elvis the travelling penguin, the teddy my dad gave me when I was born and the Jersey cow my mother got in Jersey (it’s kind of disturbing, with a MASSIVE hand the size of its head giving the thumbs up, and a normal hand on the other arm. Do cows even have hands? criticism aside I appreciate that on the last overseas trip she got me frog earrings and that documentary so she is learning and the effort much be appreciated and encouraging by proudly keeping the cow in my cupboard and hoping I don’t find it during one of my sleepwalks because I could go all Carrie on the world from shock). I used to work at a place that had one of those claw-machines and we played it enough for me to have a sizeable heap of them, which I have been giving away to random charities and stuff ever since (except for Elvis, he stays).

So I decided that it couldn’t hurt, I’d keep the sticker-book thingy in my car and if I happened to go to one of those outlets I’d get the sticker and one day if I ever get to 75 I’ll get the toy and give it to a charity or use it to distract a scary kid or something.

Which made sense until I drove about 5km out of my way to go to a garage that would have stickers yesterday. WTF?

Exhibit 2:

I bought airtime for my phone a while ago and got an sms to tell me that I got however many free minutes between midnight and 5am. Great. Thanks. Way to encourage drunk dialling? So is that why I organised to drive myself around on Saturday night, while keeping in constant phone-contact with a friend who could give the police details if anything happened? (and for you sticklers for safety, I had the phone in my lap, on speaker-phone).

I’m beginning to think that my weakness for ‘free’ stuff is getting out of hand. I bought an sms bundle today as I seem to be flying trough my phone credit far too quickly, and now I’m sitting and twitching, wondering who I can send messages to…

So if anyone wants to get me to go to an event? Make sure there’s free stuff. it doesn’t seem to matter if I like it or not, I’d probably go to a polka-revival event for a free decapitated barbie doll.

Because I NEEEEED it.

Which is why I should never have children.


Tamara said...

I've decided to do my jewellery Christmas sale thingey again. I'll have free juice. Wanna come? ;-)

Ja... that, my friend, is why I got the hell out of the advertising industry.

po said...

Eeesh you should never come to the UK, all the supermarkets have buy one get one free specials all the time, and three for two. They love that. All the bookstores do three for two. You know how annoying that is? If it were two for one it might be reasonable. But three? Sadly I often find myself drawn into it. Evil.

Kath Lockett said...

Being a student doesn't exactly help the 'weakness for free stuff' affliction though.

For me it's competitions. If it's just 'pop your name and address and phone number here' I'm in. Here's hoping I never do actually win that chainsaw, trip to Vladivostok or total body waxing, however!

Helen said...

Tamara: there's free juice! I am powerless! Seriously though, ,if you are planning another one of those I'm very keen to come through, it made my life a lot easier last year!

Po: did I ever tell the story of the time I was in the UK and ended up wearng all of my clothes home (at the same time) so I could fit all my books in m suitcase? True story. And 12 hours in a plane while wearing 3 pairs of jeans = uncomfortable.

Kath: I do the same thing! But I never win anything... Free stuff is like a guaranteed win!

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